NEW YORK Bill Seeks to Create Laser Hair Removal License

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Thursday, February 10, 2022

Bill Name: Senate Bill 6665 (S 6665) 

Primary Sponsor: Senator Diane Savino

Status: 6/01/2022 Passed Senate and Referred to Assembly Committee on Economic Development

AmSpa’s Take: It is clear that the current situation for laser hair removal in New York cannot persist forever. However, no bill in the last several years has gained enough support to move forward.  

Outlook: This bill is in the first steps of the process and did not make it any further in 2021. Because this has been a historically contentious issue, it is unknown if this bill will fare any better this year.

Analysis: Currently, New York does not regulate laser hair removal (LHR) as either a medical procedure or an aesthetic procedure. This means that no license or training is needed for anyone to offer the service. This is unusual compared with the rest of the country, which typically treats it as either part of the practice of medicine or offer a technician license to set a minimum training requirement. 

Efforts to regulate LHR in New York have been a long and ongoing story. We previously discussed some of the issues in an article, and a recent Bloomberg article delves further into this issue. S 6665 is part of the same bill that was introduced last year but has been resubmitted to the committee for current consideration.

S 6665 would create a license for a “laser hair removal technician” under the Appearance Enhancement Advisory Committee, as well as for “LHR facilities.”  This is the same body that covers cosmetologists, nail specialists, aestheticians and similar practices. S 6665 would require the adoption of rules and standards for the licensure and practice of LHR technicians and for the LHR facilities where they practice. These rules must at a minimum contain:

LHR facilities would need to maintain a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance in addition to the other adopted rules and standards.

Importantly, S 6665 gives the department the option to waive training and education requirements for current aestheticians who are already performing LHR. These current LHR practicing aestheticians would still need to pass an approved competency exam to gain the new LHR technician license. This would obviously substantially reduce the costs for aestheticians to continue their services and comply with the new regulations. Unlike prior bills, S 6665 does not contain a requirement for physician supervision or oversight in the LHR process.

Most other states treat LHR, along with other laser- and light-based procedures, as medical procedures which need to be performed under a physician’s delegation and supervision. A few states in recent years have begun to treat LHR as a separate professional license. In that sense, S 6665 would take New York from regulatory outlier to trend-leading in a single step. If you would like additional information, to read the bill or to contact the sponsors, you can find the information you need through this link